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Crude oil demand may peak before 2030: commodities experts

Shift toward electric vehicles seen altering global energy landscape

Energy executives and other figures spoke at the Financial Times's first commodities summit in Tokyo on Dec. 5. (Photo by Ken Kobayashi)

TOKYO -- The rapid spread of electric vehicles may cause demand for crude oil to start declining sooner than expected and possibly peak as early as 2025, experts said Tuesday at a commodities conference.

"I think [peak demand for oil will come] maybe before 2030... but now, when I talk to [people from the China National Petroleum Company], they say we will move to more gas to replace coal and oil, so peak could be 2025," Nobuo Tanaka, former executive director of the International Energy Agency and present chairman of the Sasakawa Peace Foundation, said at the Financial Times Commodities Tokyo Summit. "If China is at least like that, I think peak demand happens much much faster."

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